Directing the social media strategy for a small business, helping a nonprofit organization connect with new volunteers and donors, or managing the response during a corporate crisis are just a few ways public relations experts promote mutually beneficial relationships between clients and their publics.

By the Numbers


In Demand

Expected job growth for public relations managers through 2020 (Source: Mastersinpublicrelations.net)


Growing Opportunities

Percentage of business leaders who believe public relations is just as important as marketing and advertising (Source: PRSA)


Moving Up

Average increase in pay for those holding a graduate degree in public relations compared to a bachelor’s (Source: Goodcall.com)

Program Overview

Build, enhance and protect the reputations of high-profile clients

As a public relations specialist, you are the eyes, ears and voice of individuals and organizations. You conduct in-depth research to understand the needs of various publics, create strategic messaging for print, mobile and digital outlets and coordinate programs that effectively communicate a client’s message and goals. We’ll teach you the skills you need for a career as a social media manager, public affairs officer, community relations officer or media relations specialist.

We build upon your current skills and prepare you for leadership roles. You’ll learn to plan and manage PR campaigns as well as mitigate potential crisis situations. Electives enable you to specialize in such sub-fields as international public relations, investor relations and health care public relations, depending on your career goals. Our program additionally offers the flexibility of both full- and part-time study, while the fast track option allows you to complete the program in one year.

The MS in Public Relations program is also offered online.

Social Media Track

Social media track

Social media has grown to be something greater than a personal soapbox or networking tool – it is an invaluable asset for modern public relations professionals, and an integral component to any PR strategy. This concentration teaches the fundamental practices that have led to this rise, how to deploy them across multiple platforms and disciplines and how to develop new solutions and strategies as this media continues to evolve.

Businesses, politicians and entertainers alike rely heavily on social media to reach the public. A series of deftly crafted Facebook posts, Tweets or Instagram photos can make or break customer relationships and brand loyalty, public image, voter turnout and beyond. In our graduate PR program’s social media concentration, you’ll cover basic and advanced social media practices, community management and social and web analytics. You’ll also learn how to effectively integrate marketing concepts and practices with PR strategy to achieve the best possible results for a diverse range of clients.

Video Overview

Program Certification

Logos for the PRSSA and CEPR Public Relations societies.

Our Public Relations programs are certified by the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. They advocate rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.

The CEPR offers approved academic programs, like Quinnipiac’s, the opportunity to have an outside evaluation team review and endorse undergraduate and master’s level programs for meeting standards in curriculum, faculty, students, resources and facilities, assessment, professional affiliations, relationships with the total unit and the university and diversity and global perspectives.

This CEPR certification places Quinnipiac among only three programs in the country to be recognized in this way.

“Receiving the CEPR from PRSA endorses the great work of our students, faculty and alumni in the public relations program. This certification shows that we meet the industry standards for our graduates and it shows that our program is among the best programs globally.”
Hilary Fussell Sisco, PhD
APR Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Strategic Communications

Alumni Spotlight: Kyle Owens '16, MS '18

Student Kyle Owens pictured with President John L. Lahey

Knowledge is power

Kyle Owens, '16 MS '18, shown here with Quinnipiac President Emeritus John Lahey, credits the skills he learned while a student at Quinnipiac in communications with the success he's experienced in his role with Pratt & Whitney.

Operational communicator

When Kyle Owens '16, MS '18, looks back on his time at Quinnipiac, he fondly recalls pulling all-nighters in the Arnold Bernard Library, and the pride he felt when turning in his undergraduate capstone project.

”Quinnipiac definitely afforded me many opportunities to grow, both academically and professionally,” Owens said.

The most important of these was an internship he secured with Pratt & Whitney as an undergraduate Public Relations student. In two years with the global aerospace manufacturer, he learned first-hand how communications significantly impacted many different operational areas.

“Truthfully, aerospace-communications wasn't even on my radar as a potential career path,” Owens said. “Now I'm very glad that I did it."

His experience at Pratt & Whitney motivated Owens to enroll in Quinnipiac’s MS in Strategic Communications program. Now employed at Sikorski Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin company, he credits the foundation of knowledge he continues to build upon at Quinnipiac with empowering him to move forward in his career.

"I'm especially appreciative of all the dedicated professors that have guided me along the way here," he said.

Career Development

Whether you’re already working in the field and will be in the market for a new role or if you’re continuing your education with Quinnipiac or another university’s bachelor’s program, our goal is to help you succeed. Our career development team will work with you every step of the way to help you find your career passion, with one-on-one guidance and internship opportunities specific to the communications industry. We’ll teach you how to extend your personal brand, develop or improve upon a current resume and how to shine during the interview process.

Visit our career development page to learn more about how we help you find the career of your dreams.


Faculty dedicated to student success

Quinnipiac’s School of Communications professors are committed to the personal and professional success of every student. While passionate scholars and accomplished in their own fields, teaching is their number one priority. Small class sizes, accessible professors with significant industry experience and a close-knit, diverse community create the kind of supporting, enriching environment that is rare. We are personally invested in seeking ways to help our students develop into strong, certified, leading professionals.

Curriculum and Requirements

MS in Public Relations Program of Study

To earn the master’s degree, students must complete 36 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA and no grades less than a C.  Any course with a grade of less than C has to be retaken.

Students have three options to complete the program: fast track, full time or part time. Students on a fast track complete the 36-credit program in one calendar year. They take 15 credits in the fall and spring terms, respectively, and complete a 6-credit research thesis or professional project during the summer or subsequent terms. Full-time students take 9 credits every fall and spring semester and complete the program in two years. Students may also elect to complete the program on a part-time basis.

Core requirements
STC 501Principles and Theories of Public Relations3
STC 502Public Relations Research Methods3
STC 503Public Relations Research Design3
STC 504Law and Ethics in Public Relations3
STC 505Public Relations Writing3
STC 506Public Relations Management3
STC 507Strategic Planning in Public Relations3
Public Relations elective requirements 1
Select two of the following:6
STC 510
Crisis Management
STC 511
Global Strategy
STC 512
Investor Relations
STC 513
Health and Strategic Communications
STC 514
Social and Mobile Media
STC 515
Special Topics in Public Relations
STC 531
Graduate Internship in Public Relations
STC 606
Independent Study
Free elective
Select one public relations elective (from list above) or elective from other School of Communications graduate programs approved by adviser3
Capstone requirement
STC 601Public Relations Professional Project6
or STC 602 Public Relations Research Thesis
Total Credits36

Students pursuing the Social Media Track must complete the following electives: STC 514 and two ICM electives focused on social media (Graduate Director approval required).

Additional course details
Explore descriptions, schedule and instructor information using the Course Finder tool.